Praxis (PPST) Frequently Asked Questions
Who takes the test and what is it used for?
- The PPST is a set of teacher certification exams required by Indiana and many other states throughout the country.
- The PPST is Praxis I of the Praxis series of Professional Assessments for Beginning Teachers.
- The PPST is an academic skill assessment. It is designed to test reading, writing, and mathematic skills.
- Ball State University requires passing scores on the PPST in order for students to get into 300-400 level professional education courses.
When should the PPST be taken?
- Students usually take the PPST during their Sophomore or Junior year. However, many Freshmen take the PPST as well.
- Students should take the exam as soon as possible to give them enough time to retake parts of the exam if they do not achieve the scores that they need.
- The earlier that a student begins preparing for the exam, the better off he or she will be. Plan on studying a lot! Cramming at the last minute is not an effective way to prepare.
How should a student prepare for the PPST?
- Students should familiarize themselves with the format of the exam by attending workshops and examining PPST preparation books. The Learning Center also offers free tutoring on test preparation. Learning about the exam during the actual exam can cause anxiety and a student to do poorly.
- A good way to study for the PPST is to read the review material for each section of the exam in a PPST preparation book and then take a practice exam. This first run-through will help the student to analyze weaknesses and strengths in each exam area.
- Concentrate on the areas that seem to be most difficult first, and then move onto the areas that provided less of a challenge.
- Choose a study environment and time that are most effective for you.
- Be consistent and use your study time wisely.
- When taking the practice tests try to duplicate the testing environment.
- Turn off the television and radio. Time yourself and adhere to the time limits. After completing the practice tests, score tests and review the detailed explanations for questions that were missed.
How to prepare for the Mathematics Test of the PPST?
- The mathematics test measures a student's competency in mathematical skills that an educated adult would require.
- The test focuses on the student's ability to solve problems in a quantitative context. Several problems involve integrating a variety of skills into one problem-solving situation.
- The test has 40 multiple-choice questions that test your competency in math skills that an educated adult will require. The exam also tests your ability to solve problems quantitatively and to integrate several skills into one problem-solving situation.
- The test covers areas of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and word problems.
- Examine a PPST book or attend the Math workshop for the PPST for further information on the reading section of the exam and for preparation tips.
How to prepare for the Reading Test of the PPST?
- The reading comprehension test measures a student's ability to understand and analyze written information.
- The test is comprised of several written passages and 40 multiple-choice questions that test students understanding of those passages. Students have 40 minutes to complete the test.
- There are approximately eight reading passages that are written on a college textbook reading level.
- The test measures your ability to determine what a word or a phrase means, the main idea of the passage, or a paragraph within the passage, the purpose of the passage, the point of view of the passage. The test also measures your ability to recognize supporting details in the passage and the validity of the author's
- There are 10 types of questions in the reading section of the PPST:
- Determine which of the given answers best expresses the main idea of the passage.
- Determine the author's purpose in writing the passage.
- Determine what facts best support the writer's main idea.
- Know the difference between fact and opinion in a statement.
- Organize the information in the passage.
- Determine which of the answer choices best summarizes the information presented in the passage.
- Recall information from the passage.
- Analyze cause-and-effect relationships based on the information in the passage.
- Determine the definition of the word as it is used in the passage.
- Look at a graph provided and read it properly.
- Examine a PPST book or attend the Reading workshop for the PPST for further information on the reading section of the exam and for preparation tips.
How to prepare for the Writing Test of the PPST?
- The writing test assesses a student's ability to communicate in written form using appropriate language and grammar. There are two separate 30-minute tests.
- The first test consists of 45 multiple-choice questions testing a student's competency in using Standard English.
- The exam tests grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure, and word choice.
- Remember to use the rules for standard written English.
- The second test consists of an essay on an assigned topic written in 30 minutes.
Test taking tips:
- Become comfortable with the format of the PPST. Stay calm and pace yourself.
- Read all of the possible answers. Make sure you're not jumping to conclusions by assuming the answer you chose is the best one. Read all of the choices.
- Use the process of elimination. Eliminate obvious incorrect answers immediately.
- Work quickly and steadily. Pace yourself.
- Learn the directions and format of each test section. Knowing the format and directions for each section will help you avoid nervousness.
- Be sure that the answer oval you are marking corresponds to the number of the question in the booklet.
- Guess, Guess, Guess. You are not penalized for incorrect responses. Your score is based on number of questions you have answered correctly.
For more information:
- Come to the Study Strategies desk at the Learning Center for free tutoring in PPST preparation. (Or you can call us at 765-285-3779)
- Visit the official PPST website.
The Learning Center
North Quad (NQ), 3rd Floor
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
Hours: Academic Year: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Summer: Monday-Thursday 12 p.m.-4 p.m.